Tag Archives: Internet marketing

Channel Partner Marketing

Is this a Channel Marketing Strategy or building a collaborative relationship?

One of my new customers was asking about a variety of marketing activities he thought needed to be done. As I reviewed what his company had and didn’t have, I started writing a brief email response. As I was writing, it turned into more of a marketing questions and suggestions email. Yes, I know I should have held back and presented it as a high-priced strategy for a Channel Marketing Plan, but I thought it would be more helpful for his company to get tidbits of their needs and what could be done combined with what are they are doing now. It gives the customer a sense of collaboration and builds relationship trust. I hope you find some value in this as a starting point with your company or customers –

Here are 10 Things  to do to Help the Marketing Efforts for Channel Partners:

1. Analysis and Planning – Identify sales and profit by market segment, (rank industries by the greatest need for your product), and which of your products are hot and not – that could help determine growth opportunities. Evaluate competitors marketing, websites, products and services – what are they doing and is it working? Who are your competitors? The marketing program should identify timing of marketing initiatives throughout the year – I typically use a spreadsheet to manage marketing timelines, so channel partners know what is being pushed/featured/announced and when.

2. Channel Marketing Support – You probably have deeper marketing resources – expertise and available funding, then most of your channel partners. Glad to see you are currently providing templates and some optimized product photos for brochures –but you need to have a more organized system for distribution of product photos and text content. What about content and marketing direction for direct emails or case studies? You should consider hosting webcasts and product demonstrations that channel partners can either participate in, or communicate to their customers when they are. Does your company offer co-op or market development funds, to reimburse channel partners for approved marketing initiatives?

3. Build Awareness – A search-optimized website can improve search authority, but awareness is having a presence in your various regions and/or countries to build word-of-mouth and referrals. Marketing and networking - the face behind the blogParticipate in or sponsor business networking events. Are your products unique enough to write as news or press releases, to distribute to local, regional and national editor lists?  Research and seek speaking opportunities at relevant events, like local business organizations and tradeshows. There should be someone at your company that could travel around to speak as an expert authority on your product niche.

4. Webcasts and Live Demos – You really need to develop frequent webcast demos/events on relevant topics. Promote and communicate those events via email and social media channels. Does you or channel partners attend and sponsor local or vertical marketing, relevant networking and trade show events? The home page of the website then could include a sidebar list of upcoming events, (online and at business organization’s meetings). Then we could add an events page to the website with archives that potential best selling tipscustomers and partners could continue to access for additional information.

5. Direct Marketing – The purpose of all marketing is lead generation. So are your sales people managing a customer database with marketing automation software or contact manager? It is really helpful to code, track and report leads to be able to continually improve the results of that process. Are there potential prospect lists of members of associations that you belong to? Belonging to organizations is a great place to start a direct marketing campaign. Ideally you use telemarketing qualification to identify decision makers and contact information, or just sending out marketing info to potential prospects or providing them at meetings is a start.

6. Referral Program – As you know, more than half of business leads is from referrals, or it should be. Ask clients for referrals by requesting references and testimonials. Also, identify highly networked clients and ask for referrals from them as well.  Recognize referrals with gifts and thank you notes. Systematically cultivate and give referrals. There should be a customer testimonial on all most every page of the website.

presentations7. Content Expert – Is there someone at at your company that can be or is the subject matter expert for your niche? They need to be speaking to business groups and organizations as well as develop case studies and white papers, (which are great for social media blogs). Creating surveys and industry studies is also content that channel partners could use for their marketing efforts. Then you could use and repurpose that content for the website, blogging and social media channels. Use the created value-based content for your credentials kit when submitting proposals.

8. Website Improvement and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Your website is really the base foundation of marketing programs. A website needs to have content added to it frequently. Search engine bots scan websites frequently, and if nothing has been added or SEO for phrases and keywordschanged, the website is consider stagnant and typically drops in rankings because the website does not have fresh information. Does your site rank on the top page search results for keywords – nope not even close. We need to create a baseline now to compare after future SEO efforts). Then at some point I need to run search engine optimization diagnostics to identify issues and problems – and then fix them. 

9. Blogging – This is a great tool for distributing all of your fresh new content. Blogging has many benefits to a marketing program including helping with search engine optimization. Blogs should integrate with the website and other social media outlets. It helps to build indexed pages for search engines, and distribute content through bookmarking and social sharing.

10. Social Media – Social media is marketing. It can build search engine authority, and generate leads. Do leads come from channel Social media networkspartners, or where do the majority of leads come from?   Build-out social media profiles including LinkedIn personal profiles and company pages, a Facebook business page, Twitter profile, and the YouTube channel profile. After those are created, links need to be added to the your website and blog. It sounds complicated but much of that content already exists in brochures and the website.

 I hope this helps as an overview of potential planning and prioritizing what needs to get done next. It is easy to pick the easy stuff to do, and focus on what can be done now. But also consider Social media consultant fore hire - cost effective and gets results.much of the above is for long-time vision planning, which takes time, and does not have immediate results. The results show up later, which in the long run drive the company to more sales and profits for a longer period of time. Consider if the competition is only doing half of the above, and if you do most or all of it – who is going to win the marketing and sales battle?

4 Simple Website writing tips, tricks and tactics.

 

 

 

 

Action! Telling a story about the value of your product or service engages people’s emotions – and creating a sense of urgency can be a great way to motivate a customer to action. 

Read this blog before it’s removed in 12 hours! Here are typical call-to-action infomercials: “Limited-time offer!” Or “Call in the next 15 minutes to get this one-time offer!” Or  “One seat left at this price!” Emphasize the urgency of your product or service by solving a customer’s problem. You want your story to encourage your customers to act — not just when they’re ready, but NOW!

•  Here are 4 simple writing  tactics for creating a sense of urgency:

Social media deadline1. Most important – set a deadline. As procrastinator knows, nothing focuses the mind like a looming deadline. Set a goal and tie it to a date and even a time — and think about how you can add this to your call to action. People are far more likely to take action the closer the deadline gets.

marketing urgency2. Create scarcity. When people sense an opportunity is running out, they are more inclined to take action. For example: “Get your tickets now — only 10 products left at this price!” Yes, you have read that approach over and over before – because it still works! Tell a story that creates a sense of urgency with a customer’s problem, or them missing out on potential success.

3. Broadcast a sense of urgency on social media – it provides instant feedback. Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 11.12.40 PMSocial media provides real-time interaction. Gather insight into what resonates with your site visitors by offering a variety of urgencies, approaches, and formats. Try sharing stories that amaze or inspire others to act. Take advantage of the fact that social tools are built to allow people to interact and share. Let your site visitors and followers help you spread the word and attract new supporters. Use your website or blog’s analytics to see what works best – experiment! 

Marketing action

4. Action! Keep your call-to-action message simple and specific. It’s easy to say no or think, “I’ll get to it later” – to an offer that sounds complicated, but harder to say no to an offer that is easy to understand. Make sure your website writing tactics create a call-to-action that is clear, quick, and easy, and people will be more likely to act NOW.

Sign up NOW to follow this blog for additional tips and tricks on a wide variety of topics that could help you be more successful in social media marketing. Click the Follow button above to stay in the “know” – before you win the lottery and decide you don’t need this stuff anymore to be successful. 🙂

 

A social media sales funnel for websites and blogs?

Sales funnel for websitesThe concept of a social media sales funnel:

The top category is the biggest one and represents the largest number of people – potential customers. You initially capture potential customers by creating awareness – they find your social media site through a search. The bottom category represents the smallest number – those who have made the purchase, your committed customers.

Now, here are the 5 steps to follow to construct your simple online sales funnel.

Landing page1. Create a landing page that has an impact! Your website’s landing page is the first impression for your potential customers. Take time to make sure that it visually looks great with headlines and subheads that provide value, (confirming this is the best place to be). A good website-design landing page gives the impression that is offering information the site visitor is looking for and not be inundated with “buy this” or “time is running out” phrases. That said, encourage visitors to sign up for some sort of list, or subscribe to the website. This gives you that all-important contact information, which becomes your first line of communication to start them down the sales funnel.

online special offer2. Develop a front-end special offer. The next step is to shift potential customers from “interest” to “consideration” which leads to buying your product or service. When developing your front-end products and associated upsell offers, try thinking – “How will this help create more desire for the next special offer I’m going to present them with?” In other words, at this step, you need to be “pre-selling” on the next step in the funnel.

add to cart marketing3. Give an upsell offer on the back-end. Offer your customers who just bought or are about to buy an opportunity to upgrade or add-on to their purchase. Once they have just about clicked the button to buy your product or service they are more likely to buy an upgrade. Why? Because they have found your product or service to be the best value – the reason they are about to click the buy button. Create an offer that will deliver even more benefit to the customer. That also means you make more profit because an upsell typically involves a higher margin item or service.

sales funnel offers4. Offer a downsize option. In the same way that you encourage customers to upgrade in the upsell step, this element of the funnel calls for you to offer a downsize option to customers you are about to lose due to price. Your product offering maybe out of their price range but they still want something similar or less quantity of what your special offer promotes. Consider this a way to engage a customer unable to buy from you due to budget constraints. Those constraints may change if they like your product and come back.

marketing sales offers5. Follow up! The last step in the sales funnel is to follow-up with the new customers you have acquired and ensure they are happy with their product or service. A great way to accomplish this is to offer a membership-based rewards program. This will allow you to remain in contact with customers, giving you the perfect means for telling them about new deals and services.

Click this link to go to my “new-age” sales approach blog.

Social Media – Make Yours Great Again!

Social mediaMany times we get caught up in doing the part of social media that is fun, easy or more interesting – and ignore the nuts andMarketing trends bolts of our social media strategy. So, as a reminder here is 6 basic social media marketing activities to do on a consistent basis to make your blogs and websites great again!  No fake info here …

  1. Take the time to really evaluate the market like a customer would, and then see how your social media sites stack up against the competition. What are they doing to stand out and be different?
  2. Determine what you want your social media to do, (inform, develop leads, sell, increase brand awareness, etc.) before you attempt to add creativity and marketing flair. Social media plan.
  3. Create a sales funnel that generates leads or revenue while also serving as a helpful resource to online prospects. (The 5 steps on how to create a Sales Funnel on your website in a future blog).
  4. Don’t overlook the importance of domain names, and editing the titles of pages and content to make them more SEO friendly.
  5. Make sure you have your keyword phrase in the title, first paragraph and at least two other times on the page.
  6. Keep a close eye on your Social Media analytics so you can figure out what is and isn’t working on your website and make adjustments accordingly.

social media strategy

How Your SEO is impacted by your website’s speed.

Website speed and SEO Slow Speed Kills SEO. Many websites don’t seem aware or care that their load times are painfully slow – especially the big-image, scrolling home pages that are glamorous and visually impactful. Site speed and the content itself can all impact the likelihood of someone staying on your site if it loads slow guess what happens?

Site speed and SEOSite visitors get impatient and immediately click back to the search results to visit another site. When that happens, it’s a signal to Google that your site may not be the best fit for that search – and down goes your SEO ranking. I use a page speed tool to analyze and optimize each site page throughout a website. If you don’t know how to address the issues slowing your site and your sliding SEO rankings down, consult with a professional.

Branding – best way to start creating your brand new brand.

Best way to create a brandFirst, start with what value you want to communicate as the foundation for your brand. Your brand is not just a logo, but a collection of customer experiences and the culture associated with your business that you need to communicate. Your website’s design, social media impressions, what your representatives to the customer experience wear, your customer meeting room’s decor, your voicemail greeting, customer service, and the impact of all of those elements contribute to your brand. Your logo is the symbol that represents the perceptions of who you are as a company. Building a brand

Provide a summary of the above to your branding expert. That will help them be spot-on with the logo and brand to represent your company as well as reduce the costs of rework.  It’s best for all to be engaged and on the same page with a guide to communicating the vision for your brand.

Is Social Media Marketing a Cost-effective Way to reach new customers?

Social media networksHere’s the million dollar question: If you invest money in social media marketing, how many leads will you generate or products will you sell?  Hmmm – What social media does most effectively is create brand recognition and keep your name in front of the people you’re trying to reach.  And, of course, through that process it should definitely have an impact on your sales – if you use a call-to-action directive. But it also has an “unseen impact” not just direct-response sales or leads.

Seinfeld TV showAn unseen impact? The popular TV show “Seinfeld” was often referred to as a “water cooler show” because the morning after a new episode aired people would chat about it with their co-workers. So, even those people who never watched an episode of “Seinfeld” learned about the Soup Nazi, puffy shirts, shrinkage and sponge worthy. They became part of our culture at that time … and still are!

The same water-cooler-type moments hold true with social media. When people see something on social media that strikes their fancy, they’re likely to share it on their social media and or mention it in real life to friends or associates.  It could be a restaurant, a video, or a new store that opened in their neighborhood.

include social media plans for mobile devicesHow does that water-cooler-type moment help you? Even if the person who saw it on social media isn’t a buyer at that moment, when they mention it to a friend who is in the market for that product or service, there’s a good chance that friend becomes a potential customer. But guess what happens when your survey asks this new customer how they heard about you? Their response will be: “From a Friend.”

Justifying the costs and value of social media: In these cases, you won’t be able to make a direct connection to your social media campaign, yet your social media campaign is what prompted the sale. People who follow you on social media will often share your interesting posts or tweets with their followers. Then those people can share it with their followers, and so on. Ideally one or more of your followers who shares your post has a really large following of their own.

It’s a numbers game. The number of people who see your post through this sharing process has now exponentially increased and somewhere down the line you’ll have new customers as a result.  This all ties back to your social media marketing, and an ability to tell your story so it resonates, but there’s no way you’ll ever know it!

If you’re selling a big-ticket item, social media is a way to build brand equity with prospective customers and a way for prospective customers to learn all about you and decide whether they want to do business with you. That’s why the quality of your posts is so important and needs to be professional, as you’re continuously building trust and credibility with your followers (and their followers) whether you realize it or not.

Social media marketing

All those people see your posts again and again – like the drivers passing the billboard – and when the time comes to do business, you’re the one who comes to mind!

best practice email campaignsCall to action: If you can’t devote the necessary time to it, you might consider finding a professional whose job it is to make you look good – by taking the time to post quality content and interact with your followers. Gary Greer comes to mind, at 727.409.2326.

You’ll benefit from what social media has to offer – building your brand and keeping your name out in front of the people you want to reach – even when the impact is unseen!

 

3 ways to create a better blog title, the difference between a good and bad blog title, and why should you care about a blog title?

best presentationsTo pull in your audience, create a compelling title to your blog that is On Fire!

3 ways – 1. List a “number” of reasons, 2. offer comparisons or concerns, and 3.  the “why should” approach. They are effective because they make a very specific promise of what’s coming.

Here are  two blog topics by a law firm client of mine, (one on elder law, the other on estate planning), and both topics use three different approaches to create engaging titles.

List Approach: 

  1. 3 ways the elderly are now protected by law
  2. 5 reasons to review your estate planning now

Comparison or Concerns:

  1. Are the elderly better served in civil or criminal cases?
  2. The pros and cons of estate planning

“Why Should…” titles:

  1. Why should we care about elder laws?   
  2. Why should you worry about your estate’s assets?

How technology lowers our productivity and provides “short-burst” branding opportunities in social media.

Social media marketing

Have you noticed in the past few years how much shorter the lines are now at the grocery store, traffic light, doctor’s office, and restaurants?  Or, do the lines just seem shorter because you are now secretly enjoy waiting so you can browse Facebook, messages, emails or Twitter, with the thought, “What will I get?” When we unlock our smartphones, we subconsciously crave for variable rewards or something to occupy our minds. This yearning for variable rewards makes us refresh social media feeds and email inboxes – repeatedly.

social mediaHere’s an effect you may not have been aware of: According to neurological scientists, 10 minutes on social media can raise oxytocin levels by up to 13 percent, (a generosity-trust chemical in our brains). That’s a hormonal spike equal to what some people experience on their wedding day! People of all ages are addicted to the euphoria effect of their smartphones.

social media marketingPeople use their smartphones everywhere. In elevators, for instance,  I’ve seen people miss getting off their intended floors because of checking Facebook postings.  It’s the norm to use smartphones as we wait at banks, gas stations and even Starbucks.

Does social media technology decrease productivity or are we simply filling what was empty non-productive spaces in our lives?

social media marketing smart phonesIn a world where we brag about 24/7 connectivity, our phones keep buzzing. But we rarely receive calls. Social media notifications, useless emails, and instant messages have made us ‘multitaskers’.

But multitasking reduces our productivity by up to 40 percent. Each time we are interrupted, it takes us several minutes to refocus. Before those refocus minutes are up, we get distracted again. Is it not surprising that these are the least productive times in the history of mankind?

trump tweets

This social media phenomena  also provides opportunities for short-burst marketing and re-branding. The most famous re-branding person of our time? Donald Trump. He uses Twitter to “re-brand” his adversaries. It use to be, “Don’t judge people by what they say about themselves, but by what they say about others.” That still may be true for some, but unfortunately social media has made many believers in stories people want to hear or hope to believe.  Social media can now quickly cast false and deceptive re-branding of people and companies.

As a marketer, please consider taking the truth-road.  Check Snopes, PolitiFact or other “fact checking” websites before passing along juicy tidbits that could falsely re-brand companies, products or people that worked so hard to create value in their brands.